A newton is the unit of force in the meter-kilogram-second system equal to
the force that would give a free mass of one kilogram an acceleration of one
meter per second.
1-10. THE LAW OF CONSERVATION
The law of conservation of matter and energy states that matter and energy can
neither be created nor destroyed, though they can be changed from one form to
another. In all chemical and physical processes of everyday living, the mass of end
products obtained is equal to the mass of starting materials used. This will be well
illustrated by later sections dealing with the structure of matter. The total amount of
energy in the universe is constant. That is, matter can be transform into an equivalent
amount of energy and vice versa. This is illustrated by Einstein's famous equation:
E = mc2
E = energy in ergs
m = mass in grams
c = speed of light in a vacuum in centimeters per second
In other words, mass and energy are mutually convertible. An atomic explosion
illustrates how a tiny amount of matter is converted into a relatively large quantity of
energy. The matter that seems to be destroyed is converted to energy. From this law,
we can determine the following relationships for matter and energy.
a. Matter may be changed into another form of matter.
b. Energy may be changed into another form of energy.
c. Matter may be changed into energy.
d. Energy may be changed into matter.
1-11. ATOMIC STRUCTURE
a. Components. As the smallest unit of an element, the atom cannot be
subdivided further by ordinary chemical and physical means. However, it can be broken
down into even smaller particles by particle bombardment from nuclear reactors and
particle accelerators. These smaller particles--protons, neutrons, and electrons--may
be regarded as building blocks and have been found common to all elements.
Differences in all atomic makeup are due primarily to different combinations of these